View Full Version : Ukulele on JetBlue/Southwest

05-05-2010, 04:06 PM
I'm sure this has been asked before...

Over the next couple of weeks I will be flying on JetBlue and Southwest and I would like to take my tenor ukulele with me. I have carried it on Alaska and American without any problems. At 30 inches it is over the length limit but obviously under the width and height limits.

I sent an email off to JetBlue to find out and have not heard back.

Anybody experience any problems with carrying a ukulele on JetBlue or Southwest.



05-05-2010, 04:25 PM
Just returned from Hawaii with a tenor and flew Southwest from Seattle to Chicago, Chicago to Pittsburgh with no problems, but the uke will count as your carry-on, so check your other bags.

05-05-2010, 04:28 PM
id just call the airlines to make sure. you never know. im also going on a trip to virginia this month and am flying on continental. anyone have experience with them and taking your ukulele on board?

im bringing my kanile'a over there to show my brother and i would hate to have to check it in and lose sight of it for the whole trip.

05-05-2010, 05:06 PM
I took my Kala thinline travel tenor from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale and back. On both flights, I had a carryon bag, and I got the uke on the plane by putting it (in its travel bag) in my backpack (so it didn't count separately as a carryon bag or personal item). On the flight to Florida, the plane wasn't full and I was permitted to put my backpack with the ukulele in it under the seat in front of me. The flight back was full, and the flight attendants thought the uke was too big to fit under the seat and asked me to put the uke in an overhead compartment, but they didn't count it as a third piece of luggage or force me to check my carryon bag. I suspect a lot of what happens depends on the flight attendants on a given flight. I hope that helps.

05-05-2010, 06:56 PM
Oftentimes, it depends on the size and shape of the storage areas. Some planes don't have room for a ukulele at your feet, while others do, especially if you are traveling next to someone who will be careful. The overhead bin size varies a lot too, so maybe look up the plane you will be traveling on, and see if it will fit anywhere. If you have a light crowd, you will have no problems. But if the plane is full, see if you can board early and get your uke stowed.


05-05-2010, 08:24 PM
I have travelled with a tenor uke on Southwest many times, never with a problem. I even had fight attendants ask if I would play a song.

05-05-2010, 09:12 PM
From JetBlue's website:

"Musical Instruments on JetBlue

"Musical instruments can be checked or carried on, subject to space.

"Musical instruments are subject to the same size regulations as any other checked or carry-on item. If the musical instrument is large and you'd like to carry it on, you may need to purchase a seat for the instrument, provided there is availability. The instrument or equipment must be secured in a window seat and cannot be secured in the first row or emergency exit rows.

"Musical instruments are conditionally-accepted articles, and JetBlue cannot be responsible for damages."

That's the first time I've checked an airline's website where they didn't specifically note special circumstances for musical instruments. Most other airlines I've checked have noted that you can bring instruments up to guitar size on board, provided they can find a place for them. I traveled on Alaska to Vegas in February with no trouble and am flying American to Dallas on Sunday - I'll mention later how that went...(but I have a soprano, so it's not as big a deal...)

05-06-2010, 03:37 AM
I flew Delta and US Airways with a tenor fluke with no problem.

05-06-2010, 03:42 AM
I flew United with a tenor and had some problems at the gate. But their website stated that the linear measurment can be no greater than 45". The uke in a hard case measured exactly 45 linear inches. Check JetBlue's web site to see if there is any posting that would pertain to a carry on musical instrument.

05-06-2010, 05:09 AM
I just returned from a trip flying on Jet Blue with a soprano ukulele, no problems. I have also flown Southwest with a Soprano no problems. I have taken a Tenor on other airlines with no problems. It usually depneds on what kind of mood the gate agent is in.

05-06-2010, 06:54 AM
I flew Southwest to Reno for the Uke Fest with my tenor, no issue.
I flew with some friends and we all had ukuleles in the overhead.
I do suggest a good hard case though just in case it gets gate checked.
Make sure the headstock is supported from underneath.
I like to use a nylon strap around the case to make sure it does not spring open.

05-06-2010, 08:58 AM
Thanks for all the info.

Jon, I appreciate what you got off of the jetBlue website. I searched the site and did not get that info.

I agree that it depends on the mood of the airline attendents at the time and the number of passengers.

I may forego taking it with me to Seattle on jetBlue.

I definitely want it with me in Denver on Southwest... which is a vacation.


05-06-2010, 10:28 AM
id just call the airlines to make sure. you never know. im also going on a trip to virginia this month and am flying on continental. anyone have experience with them and taking your ukulele on board?

im bringing my kanile'a over there to show my brother and i would hate to have to check it in and lose sight of it for the whole trip.

I recently carried a soprano in a hardshell case to Belize via Continental airlines. No problems.

05-15-2010, 04:23 PM
I called JetBlue before the flight and they said it they can make an exception on the length, but they wouldn't commit verbally.

My wife took me to the airport early so I could take my tenor back out to her if they said no. When asked they promptly said yes and acted as if I didn't even have to be concerned.

When I can get someone to take me to the airport, I think this is how I will approach it.

My wife and I are going to Denver next week on Southwest and my son said he would drop us off... my new PD-1 is coming with us.


06-09-2010, 01:12 PM
I've flown two round-trips with my tenor uke in a case over the past two weeks and had no problems at all. The airlines were United, Virgin, and Southwest. I was not hassled by gate agents or flight attendants at all. One of the flights was on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and packed.

My case is not a hardshell plastic case, but it wasn't a soft gig-bag either - I think it's a modified violin case. Definitely longer than the standard carry-on size, but much narrower. I had my uke as my carry-on 'luggage' piece, and put it in the overhead compartments, and carried my clothes and things in a backpack or small duffel ('personal item') that went under the seat in front of me. One of the trips I was with a friend who had a mandolin, so we nested our instruments together in the overhead.

For all flights I made sure to check-in and board as early as possible, to make sure I could find room in the overhead compartments.

06-09-2010, 02:57 PM
Our trip to Denver went great. We had great weather and no problems bringing my tenor with us.

It seems that the key is to just confirm it at the counter and go from there.


PS... I stopped by Tejon Street Music in Colorado Springs and checked our their Palm Tree Ukuleles. I got to try out a few of them. Very nice playing and sounding ukuleles. A little over my budget but the craftsmanship is first rate... beautiful ukuleles.

06-09-2010, 07:54 PM
just wanted to chime in:

i really, really recommend a hard case for traveling. i had some guy on a flight last week SLAM his suitcase against my uke case a total of six times in effort to get it to fit into the overhead compartment (i finally told him to stop, took the uke out, and moved to another seat).

jordan bello
06-09-2010, 08:25 PM
Check in online 24 hours before your flight. The earlier you check in the earlier you will get to board.

Put the ukulele on the opposite side of your body from the gate person when you carry it on.

06-09-2010, 09:16 PM
Never had an issue with a tenor uke on any airline, including SW. Flown all over the planet. No need to hide it from the gate person or worry about it. Airlines are usually very tolerant of musical instruments in general, although they have asked me to check a guitar once... (in 25 years) they just tossed it in with the strollers on my way in and I got it on my way out and never even had to go to the baggage area. No problem.

Board early if you can to make sure the idiots don't take all the overhead space with things that should be checked.